Behind The Film - Calvin Carey Posted On 28th March 2023 To Magazine & Behind the Film
We are heading to R&D to speak to Calvin Carey, our 13th Behind the Film interview. Calvin is a Physicist here at HARMAN Technology. Find out more about what his role entails.
Who are you? What’s your job title HARMAN technology and how long have you worked here?
My name is Calvin Carey, and I work as a Physicist here at HARMAN. I started in 2019.
Tell us a little about your day to day role.
My day-to-day work is hugely varied, depending on which projects in R&D (research and development) or manufacturing need my support at that time. On some days I may be doing practical work in the lab, such as investigating physical properties of our products or testing new production techniques. On others I might be diving into the theory and modelling some of the physical systems involved (such as drying of the gelatin coating, or optimising the fluid flows in the coating head). I also occasionally do some programming, for example I recently wrote some software to assess the sharpness and granularity of our films.
Share a favourite photo that you shot on ILFORD / Kentmere film and tell us why it’s your favourite.
This photo was taken on East Hampton Beach, Long Island, NY on a sunny March afternoon using HP5+ and a point-and-shoot camera. I was really pleased with how it came out, and I like that although it was taken on a beach, it somehow has Star Wars/desert vibes.
Have you always shot film, or did you get infected with the bug when you started working here?
Although I had an analogue camera when I was little, I mostly started learning about photography by playing around with a digital point-and-shoot camera, before progressing on to a DSLR. Joining HARMAN inspired me to give film another go, and since finding my Dad’s old Praktica, I’ve not looked back.
What subjects do you like to photograph and how would you describe your photographic style?
We have a company film club at work which sets us a different “theme” each month for us to have a go at shooting. I like the challenge of trying to shoot subjects that I might otherwise not have considered. I tend to photograph nature or architecture, so it’s nice to be encouraged out of my comfort zone.
What mistakes have you made shooting film that you are not too embarrassed to share?
When I switched over to a digital camera in the 00’s, I left a half-exposed film in my analogue camera, which I only got developed when I started working here 13 years later... They weren’t kidding about those use-by dates! I also have a partially under-fixed print of mine in my office, slowly turning brown as a reminder to do my processing properly.
How many different film stocks have you shot?
Since getting back into film, I’ve tried out FP4+, HP5+, SFX 200, Kentmere 400, and Delta 100.
Do you develop yourself or take advantage of the staff discount at Harmanlab?
I like to get all of my films scanned, so the staff discount at Harmanlab is very convenient. I haven’t yet explored any of the creative stuff you can do with development (Push/Pulling, unconventional chemicals, stand development etc.), but I look forward to giving it a go! I’ve heard that HP5+ pushed to 800 and shot with an orange filter is good.
Have you ever printed your negatives in the darkroom?
Darkroom printing is my favourite part of film photography. As a scientist, I still think it’s pretty cool that you end up with an image made up of tiny bits of silver stuck to a page. Our company darkroom is well stocked, and I really enjoy seeing how different photos turn out on the different paper types (Glossy/Satin/Pearl/Fine Lustre, RC Deluxe, Warmtone, Kentmere VC Select etc.). I printed my first Multigrade Art 300 recently and was really pleased with the result.
What film camera(s) do you own and which is your favourite?
I have a Praktica Ltl that I inherited from my Dad which I use as my “proper” camera. I also still have the Olympus shoot and go R that I used to use in the 90’s, which is convenient to take on holiday when packing light!
Which is your favourite film in our range?
I enjoy playing around with SFX200. I like the other-worldly effects that you can achieve with it (and an R72 IR filter), and I like that you can capture the world in different light (literally) that you just can’t replicate with a digital camera.
About The Author
After finishing my doctorate in condensed matter physics at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, I moved to Liverpool and started work at HARMAN technology. As a big foodie, I enjoy cooking, food tourism, and exploring the local restaurant scene with my wife. I also enjoy playing video games when I get the chance.